Faculty: David Thornburgh

President and CEO
Committee of Seventy

David Thornburgh was named President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy in November, 2014. He came to Seventy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, where he had served as Executive Director since 2008. While at Fels he doubled applications to the program, launched an innovative hybrid Executive MPA program and, during Fels’ 75th Anniversary campaign in 2012 quadrupled alumni giving and carried out 12 public programs that attracted over 1,200 alumni and political and community leaders. He also created a national Public Policy Challenge student competition in partnership with Governing magazine that drew teams from 12 top universities.

Immediately prior to Fels, he served as CEO of the Alliance for Regional Stewardship (ARS), a national best practice network of regional leaders. Mr. Thornburgh served as Executive Director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia from 1994 to 2006 where, under his leadership, the League became one of the nation’s best regional “think and do tanks”. From 1988 to 1994 he served as Director of the Wharton Small Business Development Center, the consulting and training arm of The Wharton School’s Entrepreneurial Center, named consistently as one of the nation's top programs in entrepreneurship. Right after graduate school, he served as Director of Civic Affairs at the CIGNA Corporation in Philadelphia.

Mr. Thornburgh has received a number of awards for his professional and civic leadership. In 2006 he was recognized as one of the 101 most trusted and respected civic “connectors” in the Philadelphia area by LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. In 2000, he was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship and traveled to Australia and New Zealand to learn about entrepreneurial development and public management in those countries.

Mr. Thornburgh is a frequent commentator on public policy and regional development issues. He holds a BA in Political Science from Haverford College and a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He lives with his wife, Rebecca McKillip Thornburgh, a Wharton MBA turned children’s book illustrator, in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Courses Taught

The Practice of Economic Development (Spring 2012)

Spring 2012
Course Section: 
001
Thursday
5:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: 
David Thornburgh
Fels Sweeney Room
Full-Time
Executive

This course analyzes and challenges strategies for encouraging economic growth nationally and in states and metropolitan areas, with the goal of helping students become effective practitioners of the art. After reviewing key concepts and context, the course will ask students to evaluate and make choices about economic strategies and investments in a political context. This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration program and a core requirement in the Certificate in Economic Development and Growth program.

Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (Spring 2013)

Spring 2013
Course Section: 
001
Thursday
5:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: 
David Thornburgh
Fels Sweeney Room
Full-Time
Executive

This course analyzes and challenges strategies for encouraging economic growth nationally and in states and metropolitan areas, with the goal of helping students become effective practitioners of the art. After reviewing key concepts and context, the course will ask students to evaluate and make choices about economic strategies and investments in a political context. This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration program and a core requirement in the Certificate in Economic Development and Growth program.

Politics and Public Leadership (Fall 2012)

Fall 2012
Course Section: 
001
Wednesday
4:30-7:30 pm
Instructor: 
David Thornburgh
Instructor: 
Anuj Gupta
MCNB 286-7
Full-Time

This course is designed to orient students to the constraints that characterize leadership and management in the public service. The course traces the origins of these constraints, illustrates their durability, and suggests ways in which public agents may deal with them more effectively. Key historical documents and recent classics are examined for their bearing on contemporary views on topics such as the public goods argument, the role of science in governing, individualism and the theory of rights, factions and interest groups. The main areas of inquiry are the environment of public service, policy analysis, politics, and political realism.

 

This course satisfies a core requirement in the Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Politics programs.

Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (Fall 2013)

Fall 2013
Course Section: 
001
Wednesday
5:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: 
David Thornburgh
Fels Sweeney
Full-Time
Executive

This course analyzes and challenges strategies for encouraging economic growth nationally and in states and metropolitan areas, with the goal of helping students become effective practitioners of the art. After reviewing key concepts and context, the course will ask students to evaluate and make choices about economic strategies and investments in a political context. This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration program and a core requirement in the Certificate in Economic Development and Growth program.

Politics and Public Leadership (Spring 2014)

Spring 2014
Course Section: 
002
Wednesday
4:30-7:30 pm
Instructor: 
David Thornburgh
Instructor: 
Anuj Gupta
COHN 402

This course is designed to orient students to the constraints that characterize leadership and management in the public service. The course traces the origins of these constraints, illustrates their durability, and suggests ways in which public agents may deal with them more effectively. Key historical documents and recent classics are examined for their bearing on contemporary views on topics such as the public goods argument, the role of science in governing, individualism and the theory of rights, factions and interest groups. The main areas of inquiry are the environment of public service, policy analysis, politics, and political realism.

 

This course satisfies a core requirement in the Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Politics programs.

Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (Fall 2014)

Fall 2014
Course Section: 
001
Wednesday
5:00pm-8:00pm
Instructor: 
David Thornburgh
Fels Sweeney Room

This course analyzes and challenges strategies for encouraging economic growth nationally and in states and metropolitan areas, with the goal of helping students become effective practitioners of the art. After reviewing key concepts and context, the course will ask students to evaluate and make choices about economic strategies and investments in a political context. This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration program and a core requirement in the Certificate in Economic Development and Growth program.

Politics and Public Leadership (Spring 2015)

Spring 2015
Course Section: 
002
Thursday
4:30-7:30pm
Instructor: 
David Thornburgh
Instructor: 
Anuj Gupta
MCNB 169
Full-Time

This course is designed to orient students to the constraints that characterize leadership and management in the public service. The course traces the origins of these constraints, illustrates their durability, and suggests ways in which public agents may deal with them more effectively. Key historical documents and recent classics are examined for their bearing on contemporary views on topics such as the public goods argument, the role of science in governing, individualism and the theory of rights, factions and interest groups. The main areas of inquiry are the environment of public service, policy analysis, politics, and political realism.

 

This course satisfies a core requirement in the Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Politics programs.